Some Los Angeles Retailers See Reduced Shoplifting during the COVID-19 Outbreak

In light of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, ALTO has been analyzing data to see if this outbreak has impacted external theft activity at our clients’ locations in the Los Angeles area market. For this analysis we utilized the two weeks prior and post March 1, 2020—specifically February 16–29 vs. March 1–14.

Post March 1st there was a 27 percent overall incident reporting reduction into the ALTO database. There could be several reasons for this decrease, such as the following:

  • Increased shopper presence deterred would be shoplifters.
  • Offenders were deterred by the potential for infection.
  • Store associates and security were more alert and interactive with customer to deter potential theft.
  • There was less reporting by store and asset protection personnel due to their focus on other duties.

While the number of incidents decreased over the times noted, the average value of each incident increased 23 percent. ALTO was able to provide each of our clients actionable insight down to the store level that reflected changes in theft activity including frequency, time and day, and product mix so that they could modify their defensive strategies as warranted.

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The data for this analysis is compiled as part of the ALTO Alliance program. One of the benefits of this program is to be able to obtain real-time retail theft reporting that provides useful insights to reduce loss and improve operational efficiencies.

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